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Marriage Counseling is the New Black

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It used to be the dirty little secret of married couples who manage to stay together despite the ups and downs of life. Well, not anymore. Nowadays it seems everyone's doing it -- and talking about it.

couples talking to therapist

At a recent dinner party I found myself in the middle of a gaggle of girlfriends who were having the time of their lives sucking down Chardonnay and sharing the latest neighborhood news. As the hour grew later and the wine bottles grew emptier, the conversation shifted. It started with one whispered confession and grew into a chorus of co-conspirators.

"It saved us." The ordinarily soft spoken brunette whispered to the friend beside her.

"What saved you?" someone asked.

The bobbed brunette looked as if she had just been caught in a bear trap. A panicked look crossed her face as she tried to figure out what the hell she would say. Finally, she confessed. "Marriage counseling. Marriage counseling saved us."

None of us expected what came next.

 "Me too."

"We did it."

"We couldn't even look at each other when we started."

"I dragged him there."

 "It saved our marriage too."

 Out of the 12 women in the room, nine admitted that they too had been in couples therapy. Many of them had never discussed it with this particular circle of neighborhood friends, but it seems there's something to the old saying, strength in numbers ... and Chardonnay. Now while everyone was surprised by the admissions, none of us were shocked. As parents of elementary school kids, we had all been through the marital battlefield several times and emerged with a few battle scars -- but for the most part, our marriages intact.

The statistics are staggering and scary -- we all know that about half of all American marriages end in divorce but listen to this one ... Marriage Counselor, Dr. Robert Huizenga suggests that 40% of women and 60% of men at some point will indulge in extramarital affairs. Put those stats together and Dr. Huizenga says that an estimated 80% of marriages will have a cheating spouse.

So with the odds stacked against us -- it felt great to be surrounded by a group of women who decided to take action -- to fight back against the statistics and fight for their marriages.

Think of it this way -- at this point in our lives it's all about maintenance -- our bodies, our skin -- our looks. Don't our marriages deserve the same attention and care as well?

next: Greed is a Good Thing
10 comments so far | Post a comment now
linda October 6, 2008, 8:28 AM

What about counseling before the wedding? I’m engaged and I want to try it just to try it. However, I just read a really funny and thought provoking Q&A from “Amy vs. John” at ( that is making me rethink pre-emptive counseling. What are the downsides?

amanda October 6, 2008, 9:49 AM

I agree that it saved “us” too!! While we were in counseling we both found out we cheated on each other. We have worked out things (and still working out things) and still are together after a year of finding out

Linney1 October 6, 2008, 3:40 PM

linda - my hubaand and i did the pre-marital counseling because it was required by the church we were getting married in and i am SO glad we did it. on the test they make you take we were off that charts compatable…(that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take some work!), but it helped to talk about all the things we wanted out of eachother. i think it made us a stronger couple.

she October 6, 2008, 4:10 PM

We need it! We’re totally sexually dysfunctional. We need serious help! But he’s too sensitive and embarrassed to talk about his E.D. even though it really is affecting our marriage.

becky October 7, 2008, 9:26 AM

Marriage counseling helped us so much, that I ended up volunteering at my therapist’s office and now I work there full-time. I want to help other couples get the help that they need.

Regarding “she”s comment — encourage your husband to get help! The therapist I works for has had great success helping men overcome ED in just a few sessions. We even have an affordable ($15) online class that men can take to help them out. It’s a fraction of the cost of one hour of therapy, but it’s the same material that she goes over with men. It’s called 3D MAN and you can find it on our website:

Anonymous October 7, 2008, 11:06 AM

yes yes yes!! It saved our marriage and our family. Every time I see the joyous looks on my children’s faces when we’re all together, I silently thank my therapist for helping us keep our family intact.

she October 9, 2008, 3:57 PM

THANK YOU BECKY! I will try it! I’ll try anything at this point!

Rori Raye October 10, 2008, 11:23 PM

Yes! Counseling. Learning to talk before you do anything stupid…we’re taught so much as women - and NONE of what we’re taught involves how to talk to a man. And we know for sure that men have never heard anything meaningful about how to listen to or talk to a woman. Great post. Thank you.

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Ten Tees January 8, 2011, 5:20 PM

Great article. Nice to read. I just have a point to make about funny t-shirts.

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